Con­vict­ed felon Mar­tin Shkre­li has fi­nal­ly talked his way be­hind bars

Mar­tin Shkre­li has fi­nal­ly talked his way in­to a fed­er­al jail.

The judge in Shkre­li’s felony fraud case has or­dered the phar­ma bro to jail, act­ing on a re­quest from pros­e­cu­tors af­ter Shkre­li of­fered a $5,000 boun­ty on a lock of Hillary Clin­ton’s hair, which they said rep­re­sents a se­ri­ous threat that re­quires the judge to re­voke his bail and lock him up now.

Shkre­li, who has brand­ed him­self one of so­cial me­dia’s most no­to­ri­ous trolls, was con­vict­ed on three felony fraud counts — while he was ex­on­er­at­ed on the most dam­ag­ing charges. In the end, he now faces up to 20 years for ly­ing to in­vestors in his hedge funds, though he lat­er made up for their loss­es.

He may nev­er have been charged, though, with­out at­tract­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary no­to­ri­ety for hik­ing the price of Dara­prim by 5000% and then taunt­ing his crit­ics re­lent­less­ly on­line. All of that is com­plete­ly le­gal.

True to form, Shkre­li had ini­tial­ly de­fied the gov­ern­ment for the lat­est set of ac­cu­sa­tions, then chaste­ly apol­o­gized to the judge for his ac­tion, say­ing he was non­vi­o­lent and nev­er in­tend­ed any­one harm.

For Shkre­li, though, the apol­o­gy looked more like a ruse for the boy­ish biotech ex­ec who de­light­ed in cry­ing wolf. And now he’ll be locked up un­til the judge – who clear­ly isn’t amused – de­cides on his felony sen­tenc­ing.

“That is a so­lic­i­ta­tion to as­sault in ex­change for mon­ey that is not pro­tect­ed by the First Amend­ment,” said Judge Kiyo A. Mat­sumo­to, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in The New York Times. Par­tic­u­lar­ly damn­ing was this post in clas­sic Shkre­li scorn af­ter he claimed to be push­ing satire:

“$5,000 but the hair has to in­clude a fol­li­cle. Do not as­sault any­one for any rea­son ever (LOLIB­ER­ALS).”

“One on­go­ing con­cern of mine is that he has been tout­ed as a bril­liant young man, the mind of his gen­er­a­tion, yet he lacks the abil­i­ty to un­der­stand what’s ap­pro­pri­ate,” Mat­sumo­to said of Shkre­li, ac­cord­ing to the New York Post.

It doesn’t bode well. For now, it looks like Shkre­li will be cool­ing his heels and eat­ing jail meals for the next few months. No more so­cial me­dia.


Mar­tin Shkre­li, for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Tur­ing Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, cen­ter left, speaks to mem­bers of the me­dia with his at­tor­ney Ben­jamin Braf­man, cen­ter right, out­side fed­er­al court on Fri­day, Au­gust 4, 2017. Shkre­li, no­to­ri­ous for rais­ing the price of a po­ten­tial­ly life-sav­ing drug by 5,000 per­cent, was found guilty of de­fraud­ing in­vestors in two hedge funds and in Retrophin, a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­ny he co-found­ed. Shkre­li was con­vict­ed of three of eight charges, in­clud­ing se­cu­ri­ties fraud. Pho­tog­ra­ph­er: Pe­ter Fo­ley, Bloomberg, Get­ty

Inside FDA HQ (File photo)

The FDA just ap­proved the third Duchenne MD drug. And reg­u­la­tors still don’t know if any of them work

Last year Sarepta hit center stage with the FDA’s controversial reversal of its CRL for the company’s second Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug — after the biotech was ambushed by agency insiders ready to reject a second pitch based on the same disease biomarker used for the first approval for eteplirsen, without actual data on the efficacy of the drug.

On Wednesday the FDA approved the third Duchenne MD drug, based on the same biomarker. And regulators were ready to act yet again despite the lack of efficacy data.

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Franz-Werner Haas, CureVac CEO

UP­DAT­ED: On the heels of a snap $1B raise, Cure­Vac out­lines plans to seek emer­gency OK for Covid-19 vac­cine -- shares rock­et up

CureVac is going from being one of the quietest players in the race to develop a new vaccine to fight the worst public health crisis in a century to a challenger for the multibillion-dollar market that awaits the first vaccines to make it over the finish line. Typically low-key at a time of brash comments and incredibly ambitious development timelines from the leaders, CureVac now is jumping straight into the spotlight.

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FDA ap­proves the third NSOMD drug in 18 months as Roche/Genen­tech beefs up its port­fo­lio of drugs for neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­ders

There were no FDA approved treatments for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder at the start of 2019. Now, as of Friday, there are three.

The latest entrant to the market is the Roche/Genentech drug satralizumab after US regulators gave it the thumbs up late Friday. An IL-6 inhibitor, the drug joins Alexion’s Soliris and AstraZeneca spinout Viela Bio’s Uplizna. The annual cost of satralizumab — which will hit the market as Enspryng — will be $190,000 for 13 doses, a Genentech spokesperson said, though the first year of treatment requires 15 doses and cost about $220,000.

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Stéphane Bancel speaks to President Donald Trump at the White House meeting on March 2 (AP Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Mod­er­na of­fers steep dis­count in US sup­ply deal — but still takes the crown with close to $2.5B in vac­cine con­tracts

The US pre-order for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is in.

Operation Warp Speed is reserving $1.525 billion for 100 million doses of Moderna’s Phase III mRNA candidate, rounding out to about $15 per dose — including $300 million in incentive payments for timely delivery. Given that Moderna has a two-dose regimen, it’s good for vaccinating 50 million people. The US government also has the option to purchase another 400 million doses for a total of $6.6 billion, or $16.5 per dose.

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US gov­ern­ment re­port­ed­ly be­gins prepar­ing for Covid-19 chal­lenge tri­als. Are they eth­i­cal?

Controversial human challenge trials for potential Covid-19 vaccines reportedly have a new booster — the US government.

Scientists working for the government have begun manufacturing a strain of the novel coronavirus that could be used in such studies, Reuters reported Friday morning. The trials would enroll healthy volunteers to be vaccinated and then intentionally infected with a weakened coronavirus.

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Sanofi vet Kather­ine Bowdish named CEO of PIC Ther­a­peu­tics; As the world Terns: Liv­er dis­ease biotech makes ex­ec­u­tive changes

PIC Therapeutics hasn’t raised much money, yet. But the fledgling biotech has attracted a high-profile player to the helm.

The Boston-based biotech has handed the reins to Katherine Bowdish as its president and CEO. Bowdish will also join the board of directors of PIC. Bowdish joins from Sanofi where she served as VP and head of R&D strategy, as well as helping launch and lead Sanofi Sunrise, a venture investment and partnering vehicle at Sanofi. Before that, Bowdish held several exec roles at Permeon Biologics, Anaphore, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Prolifaron (acquired by Alexion).

Martin Shkreli (Shutterstock)

Mar­tin Shkre­li con­tin­ued to or­ches­trate an­ti-com­pet­i­tive schemes for Dara­prim be­hind bars — FTC

Martin Shkreli didn’t just blog, read up on drug development news and run his biotech business with a contraband cell phone in prison. According to the FTC, he was also coordinating the anticompetitive scheme to shield Daraprim — the drug at the center of a price-gouging controversy that earned him the “Pharma Bro” nickname — from generic rivals.

Back in January the FTC, together with New York’s attorney general, launched a federal lawsuit against Shkreli, who’s now serving a 7-year sentence for defrauding investors in his hedge fund, alleging that he effectively created a drug monopoly. While Shkreli’s notorious move to raise the per tablet price of Daraprim from $17.50 to $750 was perfectly legal, the tactics he allegedly deployed to box out competitors weren’t.

Cal­lid­i­tas bets up to $102M on a biotech buy­out, snag­ging a once-failed PBC drug

After spending years developing its oral formulation of the corticosteroid budesonide, Sweden’s Calliditas now has its sights set on the primary biliary cholangitis field.

The company will buy out France-based Genkyotex, and it’s willing to bet up to €87 million ($102 million) that Genkyotex’s failed Phase II drug, GKT831, will do better in late-stage trials.

Under the current agreement, Calliditas $CALT will initially pay €20.3 million in cash for 62.7% of Genkyotex (or €2.80 a piece for 7,236,515 shares) in early October, then circle back for the rest of Genkyotex’s shares under the same terms. If nothing changes, the whole buyout will cost Calliditas €32.3 million, plus up to  €55 million in contingent rights.

A lab technician works during research on coronavirus at Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical in Beerse, Belgium, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Virginia Mayo/AP Images)

UP­DAT­ED: End­points News ranks all 28 play­ers in the Covid-19 vac­cine race. Here's how it stacks up to­day

(This piece was last updated on August 14. Endpoints News will continue to track the latest developments through the FDA’s marketing decisions.)

The 28 players now in or close to the clinical race to get a Covid-19 vaccine over the finish line are angling for a piece of a multibillion-dollar market. And being first — or among the leaders — will play a big role in determining just how big a piece.

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